Being open with all I’ve learned about the Psychology of Men and Marriage, sharing that information with the world online, has elicited some pretty extreme reactions from men and women alike. So I want to clear up the confusion, and remind you that you’re here on my channel for a reason. Figure out what your reason is. And never settle for less than your dream.
Being open with all I’ve learned about the Psychology of Men and Marriage, sharing that information with the world online, has elicited some pretty extreme reactions from men and women alike.
Some have accused me of being a feminist.
Degrading and dismissing a man’s needs in favor of what a woman wants. Promoting a female-centric society. Dismantling patriarchy as archaic and oppressive, not only for women, but also for men themselves. Yes, some people think that’s my mission. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Others are thoroughly convinced I believe a woman should play a traditional role and let her husband run the show.
That she should submit to him without question and forget about developing her own identity. Yes, some people think that’s my mission. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In reality, I’m neither a feminist nor a sexist.
I am and always will be a pragmatist. Because men and women are different. Always have been. Always will be. We’re different by design. I never favor one sex over the other. That would be counterproductive. Like cutting off your nose to spite your face. I don’t know where that saying originated, but it’s one of those things my mother used to say. It was her equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.
In this context, you’re only hurting yourself when you blame the opposite sex for all your woes. You’re right. Sometimes we get hurt by the people who are supposed to love and respect us. But if you want to blame them for everything, you’re not going to get very far in life. Or in love.
Speaking of love and respect.
I’ve created a free quiz for those who are currently in a romantic relationship. It’s free, and it can help you determine if together you have enough love and respect for one another to enjoy a healthy relationship. This free quiz is based on findings of marital research and can help you get an idea of how well you are doing in some vital areas of your relationship. You can download the quiz booklet at Dr Debi Smith dot com forward slash love-respect. I’ll put the link in the show notes below.
Far too many people are or have been victims of violence.
We need to do all we can to eliminate abuses of all kinds. No matter who is doing what to whom. I know victims are powerless to change their situation. That’s why they are victims. Once they have been freed from their situation, they need time to heal. I worked as a clinical psychologist for more than two decades, so I know how hard it can be. Both to escape. And to recover, which can be a very long process.
However, there’s a huge difference between being a victim and choosing to live with a victim’s mindset when much better options are available. Healing, unlearning, and developing a better mindset are at the heart of psychotherapy. And I am eternally grateful for the time I spent with my own therapist after my family fell apart.
If you listened to Episode 1, you know my backstory.
In case you missed it, here’s the short version. My mom left my dad before I was 3 years old. I didn’t see him again for 37 years. I married at 18 and supported my husband through college. Then, 6 weeks after he graduated, the first of our three sons was born.
When the little one started preschool, it was my turn to go to college. Within weeks of making plans and registering at the local community college, my husband unexpectedly asked for a work transfer to the home office in the big city. It was a no-brainer for me. I postponed college. I had work to do.
I’m a pragmatist, remember?
I stayed behind to care for our boys and sell our home. It only took me two weeks to find a buyer, so we weren’t apart for very long.
However, a year and a half after we moved, my husband told me he didn’t think he wanted to be married anymore. He left me that same day. With no job, a high school diploma, and three boys to raise. I was a hot mess. I had very few close friends in the new city. We didn’t have cell phones back then, so I couldn’t keep in touch with my friends back home without creating an enormous phone bill. And since I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for everything, calling my friends just wasn’t an option.
I spent the first four months in unbelievable emotional pain and confusion.
I was constantly nauseated, but I forced myself to eat half a sandwich a day. I busied myself with yard work and housework. I had to keep my body moving to dissipate all my anxiety. When I ran out of things to do, I sat in my rocking chair and cried. Somehow, bit by bit, step by step, I figured out how to live again. I was a victim, but I did not embrace that identity.
The point isn’t what a jerk my husband was.
We were both incredibly immature. We married at 18, remember? My point is, by the time I was 35, I’d collected enough solid evidence to build a case against men. I could see myself as a victim, or I could learn how to make it on my own. In the process, I learned just how capable I was. I could find a job, raise kids, start and finish college. I could survive. Even thrive. Without a man in my life.
But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Unless you truly want to. Just make sure it’s what you want. You’re here on my channel for a reason. Figure out what your reason is. And never settle for less than your dream.